A Magical Year Begins in Your School Library

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July 25, 2018 by Dr. Robbie Barber

Teachers (and teacher-librarians) report in less than a week.  What am I doing to prepare?

  • Lunch with friends.  Check!
  • Last minute doctor appointments? Check!
  • Extra puppy time. Check!
  • School preparations? Check!

Wait. What?!  I don’t get paid to be at the school until next week, but it doesn’t stop the list of things that need work.

  • Create a new bulletin board theme.
  • Set up a schedule for the paraprofessional.
  • Meet with the principal about annual goals.
  • Create our first Tissue Tabloid to hang in the faculty bathrooms (they can’t escape me!)
  • Start working on the library database.  There is always things to be changed, student accounts to be cleaned up, flags to be removed, books to be put on the order list, and equipment to be ordered.  Once the teachers arrive, I will be pretty busy so doing some of the prep work in between lunches is a pretty nonstressful way to prepare.

Here is the example of why I go back each year.  Yesterday, I was helping the paraprofessional get started on a project.  I had not intended to be at the school for more than an hour, but three hours later, a rising senior walked in to see me.  Think about this – it’s still July and teachers are not in the building – but this young man walked in hoping to catch me.  The reason was that he wanted me to go over the senior capstone project.  He was anxious about it, even though I had come by to talk to his class about it last year.  He did not want this to be an issue his senior year, so he came by to start planning for it now.  I talked to him about how to approach the project.  I talked to him about how to research it once he figured out what was important.  I talked to him about how I would be there and he and I could do most of his research together if he needed the help.   Then I told him bluntly that the whole capstone project was not a big deal.  Yes, there were students who did not graduate because they did not do a capstone project at all.  But he would complete one and graduation was definitely going to happen for him.

I want to be there for more students.  I want to watch them come in and leave with a book. I want to have another Book Talk & Donut Party where I got to give 45 students their own advanced reader copy of a book, not to mention the 144 donuts that were donated too.  I want to play music that makes teachers smile when they walk in and introduce another group to Hamilton, The Musical.  I want to have the student that challenged me to poetry recitation contest beat me again (I tried!!).  I want the baseball player who always has last minute things to print to run in and print.  I want to sponsor the Pi Day events this year.  I want to pull out some amazing toys, uh, tools I’ve picked up in the past year and play, uh, use them.

It’s going to be a magical year!

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